Neighborhood to Watch: Hyde Park, Texas


If you want to live in a neighborhood in Texas that’s the place to be, Hyde Park is the area. It’s located in the central part of Austin, and the little city within a city spans W. 38 Street to the south, W. 51 Street to the north, Duval Street to the east, and Guadalupe Street to the west. In 1990 Hyde Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Hyde Park section of Austin is over 100 years old. It was once the place where the wealthiest people in Austin built grand houses that could be admired from the neighborhood streets. According to the neighborhood’s website, electric streetcars began running down Congress Avenue in 1891. That was also the year that Monroe Shipe, built the first neighborhood school.

Monroe Shipe was a Kansas land baron who bought 206.25 Acres from Travis County Land Company for $70,000.00 in 1890. He named his community Hyde Park. It was a streetcar connected downtown suburb neighborhood. He had no trouble selling homes in Hyde Park. Many of the new grand homes were constructed on corner lots. In 1894 the first Baptist Chuch was built.

By 1904, the neighborhood was advertised to the middle class as an upscale place to live, especially with the opening of a grocery store and the installation of sewer systems. Zoning and rezoning happened over the years, yet this historic area kept much of its local flair through the process. By 1950 it was ruled that the University of Texas students no longer had to reside on campus, so this opened up a hot rental market in this neighborhood that lies just north of the university. Eventually, some of the property became rented instead of owned and duplexes and eventually apartment houses were built to accommodate the housing demand.

Technology boom

The technology boom that has remained fairly strong in Austin has filled the neighborhood with computer professionals who commute to the University or to North Austin where many businesses still thrive. Dell Computer in Round Rock, Texas, Austin Semiconductor and other companies have brought many young professionals to the city. Although a historic city, Hyde Park has kept up with the times. There is even a Yahoo group for residents of Hyde Park that includes announcements from the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA). For entertainment Hyde Park has it all. From the trendy wine bar, Vino Vino, to Mother’s Cafe, which serves Vegan foods. Gourmet Cheese shops like Antonellis, and many other stores, coffee shops, and markets.

Housing Costs

Uptown Realty has a page devoted to Hyde Park featuring the town motto, “Keep Austin Weird.” This is part of the attraction for many folks in Austin and particularly Hyde Park. Considering the area, rentals are not terribly pricey. The Duval Court Apartments on 4510 Duval St range from $925 – $1,100 per month; however, they are only studios and one bedroom apartment homes. the Chimney Sweep Apartments located at 105 W 38 1/2 St, Austin, TX 78751 offer a studio for &900. Designed more for urban professionals or graduate students, many apartments in the area are efficient little studios or one bedroom. One apartment building that offered a two bedroom apartment for rent at Le Marquee 302 W 38th St, Austin, TX 78705, had an advertised price of $1450 per month If you compare these rents to those in another wired city like San Francisco, these rent prices are a bargain.

Home Buying

For home buyers, the market is much different. A quaint little 2 beds 1 full bath 1,316 sq ft, with 5,968 sq ft lot historic home on Avenue C, where the first Hyde Park grocery was built is going for $529,500. lists the median price for homes in Hyde Park as $599.000 as compared to all of Austin which has a median list price of $394, 000, which shows the value of Hyde Park as an exclusive residential area. There are other expensive areas in Austin such as West Lake, but that area is comprised of mostly newer construction and lacks the urban vibe and connected neighborhood feel of Hyde Park.

Hyde Park is a place where techies and academics eat free range omelets made with gourmet cheese and drink free trade coffee while browsing the local paper, The Austin American Statemen or the hip publication, the Austin Chronical. The crash and the housing bubble burst affected the area; however, it did not defeat it by any means. Tech companies in the area have done some outsourcing; however, there is still a place for highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs to get their start in the area.

Schools and Income

The area schools are highly rated and the crime rate is low. The median age in Hyde Park is 30, just slightly below Austin overall which has a median age of 31, according to Wikipedia. The majority of people living the area are single, and most have some college or have earned a degree. The median income goes up with age with millennials in the 20 to 30K income range, and those over 65 earning over 50,000, says Point 2 Homes. The exception is those in the 45-64 range who earn the highest median salary of around 58,000.

Today Hyde Park is a young and very hip part of the city. Its streets are lined with historic homes as well as luxury apartments. At Christmas, the historic district puts on its own parade of homes show, where you can see the how the owners decorate the outside of their homes, some grand, some modest, for the holidays. Some of the present homeowner’s tastes are eclectic and some are quite traditional. It’s this blend of old charm and new ideas that make Hyde Park a neighborhood to watch.


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